GaYbor Coalition, Pride Tampa Bay turn up the heat on the Cuban Club over Buju Banton show
Last week, when it was announced that purportedly anti-gay singer Buju Banton was moving his show from Jannus Landing to the Cuban Club (after it had already been moved once from the Ritz Ybor), we knew the GaYbor Coalition would have something to say about the show.
Well, we're one day from the gig, and it looks like the protest is on.
The GaYbor Coalition is circulating an e-mail today asking supporers to call the Cuban Club and complain about Banton's gig. "Historic Ybor City, a diverse community, would be the last place we would expect to this kind of thing," the e-mail reads.
And we just received an open letter from R. Zeke Fread, director of Pride Tampa Bay, asking for the venue to cancel the show.
Fread said he spoke with Cuban Club manager Robert Valdez Sr., and said Valdez was unaware of Banton's homophobic past. "Mr. Valdez will contact the Cuban Club Tampa board of directors, inform them of Buju’s anti-gay reputation.and investigate the liability to the Cuban Club for canceling Buju’s concert on such short notice," Fread's e-mail reads. "He assured me he will do his best to see if it’s feasible to cancel the concert."
After the jump, we've posted the text of both e-mails. What do you guys think -- is anyone going to this show, either as a reggae fan or a protester?
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.
TEXT OF THE GAYBOR COALITON'S E-MAIL:
What is “The Cuban Club of Tampa” Thinking?
We assume the Cuban Club was total un aware of the kind of HATE projected by BuJu Banton who is scheduled to perform Oct 30 at their club.
When BuJu Banton wanted to perform his hate at the Hard Rock- Orlando, The Ritz Theatre -Ybor City, Jannus Landing - St. Pete... these business did the right thing & CANCELED the show!
Historic Ybor City, a diverse community, would be the last place we would expect to this kind of thing.
We urge you to contact the Cuban Club
at (813) 248-2954
Please help us,
Let they know how inappropriate and un acceptable
this performance that encourages, gay bashing, violence & murder is.
AND THE TEXT OF R. ZEKE FREAD'S E-MAIL TO THE COMMUNITY:
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2009
R. Zeke Fread
Director Pride Tampa Bay
813-251-0693 (Primary Contact Number)
TAKE ACTION ALERT: Call/Email The Cuban Club Tampa, Ybor City Demand They Cancel Buju Banton’s Concert
There is some good news, your tireless efforts in calling and emailing the powers that be at Jannus Landing, succeeded once again and Buju Banton’s concert scheduled to take place there has been canceled.. The bad news is his handlers has found a new venue for him to perform his homophobic murder music. Banton is now scheduled to perform at the Cuban Club Tampa, in Ybor City, tomorrow night October 30th.
I’d ask that you call and email messages demanding Buju’s concert be canceled at the Cuban Club Tampa. But, please when you call the box office, be courteous to Jocelyn, she agrees with us about Banton and Mr. Robert Valdez, Sr., Manager of the Cuban Club Tampa will receive all your messages.
I just spoke to Mr. Valdez, he was kind enough to return my call while on lay over in DC, returning from New York. He was unaware and shocked to learn about Buju’s gay murder music lyrics. He wanted to make it clear to you that he, nor does the Cuban Club Tampa, promote such hate speech directed at GLBT’s or any members of the community. They are a proud member of the Gaybor Business District Coalition, the work Mark and Carrie have done to make bring Ybor back to an all inclusive and welcoming city. Mr. Valdez will contact the Cuban Club Tampa board of directors, inform them of Buju’s anti-gay reputation.and investigate the liability to the Cuban Club for canceling Buju’s concert on such short notice. He assured me he will do his best to see if it’s feasible to cancel the concert. He was very sincere, understanding and supportive of our efforts. He will contact me as soon as a decision is made and I’ll relay this information to you. In the event the concert will go on, we should be prepared to hold a protest outside the Cuban Club, to be a visible presence against Buju Banton and his anti-gay murder music. A seperate email on the details organizing a protest will follow later today.
That said, please keep the calls and emails going. This can only serve to help give Mr. Valdez strong feedback from the community to assist him in convincing the board, that canceling Buju’s concert is the right thing to do for Ybor and the community.
Much thanks to Mark Bias and Carrie West, Gaybor Business District Coalition, for supplying me with Robert’s personal contact information. This allowed me to speak to Mr. Valdez and to plead our case before the concert took place.
Cuban Club Tampa
2010 N Avenue Republica De Cba
Tampa, FL 33605-3653
Box Office (813) 248-2954
In Peace Pride & Full Equality